Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher is broken is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a professional and staying home to meet them just to determine the problem.

The good news is it’s possible to diagnose and even fix many dishwasher faults by yourself without needing to call for dishwasher repair, especially if you are able to find a multimeter.

You could find you can fix the fault quite easily by yourself, especially if you are quite handy, and if you can’t at worst you will be better placed to describe the problem when you eventually do call an engineer.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of looking for a new machine there are a number of possible issues you should be able to identify without too much trouble.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your dishwasher is plugged in.

Everyday Dishwasher Problems That Will Prevent Your Machine From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential faults ensure that your dishwasher hasn’t been unplugged, plus that none of the switches on the circuit breaker have tripped.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock isn’t on as well as try resetting your machine.

You will most likely need the user guide for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often quite simple to engage inadvertently. Likewise, the dishwasher might have lights yet will not run, in this case the solution might be as easy as resetting the cycle.

When you have ruled out these issues it’s time for the real troubleshooting to begin.

  1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
  2. Examine the timer.
  3. Check the selector switch.
  4. Test the motor relay.
  5. Examine the thermal fuse.
  6. Test the drive motor.

To examine these parts you will need a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance as well as check the electrical components are operating as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The first thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your machine is designed not to operate if the door latches are broken for obvious reasons. There’s no way you would want start the dishwasher without meaning to with the door not closed.

A defective switch will prevent your dishwasher from turning on plus operating. You may wish to check the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Double check the machine is unplugged before removing the door panel plus checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are faulty you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the latch mechanism is operating as it should the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the component that distributes power to all the different parts the machine requires to run such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your dishwasher is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could need to be tested while live, in which case you will need to call a repair person.

Checking the Selector Switch

This is the part of your machine that selects the cycle , it’s style and location will vary depending on the make or model of your machine. A not working selector switch or one that has got stuck might cause the dishwasher not to turn on.

You can usually visually investigate to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you might need to disconnect the machine in order to access the control panel to test the connections for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Testing the Motor Relay

The motor relay is another part that could cause your dishwasher not to run, and this might be the issue if you have tested the control panel and thus have ascertained that there should be power going to the main pump.

To check if this is the case you will have to locate the motor plus locate the relay that will usually be located next to it. This may then be taken out as well as checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Testing the Thermal Fuse

When you have tested the above issues and are still looking for the fault the next component to investigate is the thermal fuse. Note: Not all machines have a thermal fuse.

If you will need to replace it in order for the control board to get power.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to check that could prevent your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the part of the machine that moves the water around to wash your dishes.

If you have checked the other components and still haven’t discovered the issue this might be the cause of the problem especially if your machine has previously been making a loud humming noise.

You should be able to locate the motor by removing the lower access panel. Check it with the help of a multimeter then replace if faulty.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

Not everyone has a multimeter, or would know how to use one even if they do, in which case you will be better off calling an engineer sooner rather than later.

If you are happy to perform the above checks then you might well be able to fix the fault without needing a professional. However if you are unsure it’s always better to contact an engineer.

And have a look at your warranty as well as your home cover as dishwasher repairs could be included meaning the expense might not be as high as you think.

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